Speech winner in Jack Petchey Tower Hamlets regional competition is speechless

Ridwan Islam from Stepney Green Maths & Computing college wins Tower Hamlets regional final [picture

Ridwan Islam from Stepney Green Maths & Computing college wins Tower Hamlets regional final [pictures: Tony Preece] - Credit: Jack Petchey Foundation

Ridwan Islam scooped top prize in the a regional final of Jack Petchey’s ‘Speak Out’ challenge—but was lost for words afterwards.

Young audience at Jack Petchey 'Speak Out' regional final contest

Young audience at Jack Petchey 'Speak Out' regional final contest - Credit: Jack Petchey Foundation

The 15-year-old from east London’s Stepney Green Maths and Computing College took the top spot beating competition from 17 young speakers from 14 other Tower Hamlets schools.

“I’m speechless,” the boy who gave the winning speech said later. “I’m overwhelmed—it’s been such a fantastic experience.”

More than 400 Year 10 pupils from 14 Tower Hamlets schools took part in the Petchey Foundation’s ‘Speak Out’ regional final held at Stepney’s Bishop Challoner Secondary last week, after just one day of public speaking and communication training.

Ridwan won a £100 gift certificate and a chance to go through to the 10th annual grand final on July 3 at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End.

Second was Milly Parvin from St Paul�s Way (left) and third was Ariana Nkwanyuo from Bishop Challone

Second was Milly Parvin from St Paul�s Way (left) and third was Ariana Nkwanyuo from Bishop Challoner - Credit: Jack Petchey Foundation


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Tower Hamlets Council Speaker Uddin Ahmed, who presented the awards, said: “The skill to be able to speak in public is so important. I hope one of the young speakers gets into Parliament one day.”

Second place went to Milly Parvin from St Paul’s Way secondary in Bow Common and third was Ariana Nkwanyuo from Bishop Challoner.

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The judging panel included Met Police Det Supt Phillip Langworthy, London Fire Brigade Station Cmdr Shane Cook, Jack Petchey Foundation’s Schenell Stephens and last year’s runner-up Igra Amani.

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